The sweet, and sometimes slightly bitter flavor of chocolate is something that nearly every person is familiar with, if not directly familiar with the term cocoa. The cocoa plant is from where cocoa beans, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter are extracted. The plant has been known for consumption for thousands of years and was even used as a form of currency during the Aztec empire.
Chocolate has evolved into numerous forms, such as hot chocolate, chocolate truffles, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, and chocolate flavorings. In addition to the sweet taste, the cocoa plant and its by-products have immense health benefits, which is further driving the demand for the cocoa market.
Global Cocoa Market Share
The cocoa market share is heavily influenced by the local climate facilitating the growth of the cocoa plant. The key cocoa producing countries are Ivory Coast, which produces 40 percent of the total supply, Ghana for 20 percent, and Indonesia for 9 percent. The main exporting countries are Ivory Coast for 37 percent of the exports, Ghana for 19 percent, and Cameroon for 7 percent while the main importing countries are the Netherlands for 23 percent of imports, the U.S. for 16 percent and Germany for 10 percent. As nearly 70 percent of the world’s cocoa supply is sourced from countries in West Africa, unfavorable weather conditions have a severe impact on the global cocoa supply. Methods such as the hand-pollination method have been introduced by countries such as Ghana, significantly boosting the production volume of the cocoa plant.
Cocoa Market Future Opportunities
There are a plethora of future opportunities for the cocoa market that ensure the rapid growth of the market in the coming years.
- Health Benefits: The health benefits that cocoa products provide are further driving the demand for the cocoa market overall. Cocoa is considered effective in lowering high blood pressure, liver concerns, bladder issues, kidney diseases, and memory loss. Further health benefits are also being researched.
- Topical Application: Not only is cocoa tasty and healthy for consumption, cocoa butter has multiple benefits when applied on the skin topically. Considered to be an emollient, cocoa butter is used to treat dry skin, prevent wrinkles and reduce stretch marks. It is a common ingredient in the cosmetics industry, used in lotions, creams and in lip balm, providing a hint of chocolate scent in addition to its moisturizing properties.
- Confectionary Use: Chocolate has become an essential flavor for a variety of confectionery items, desserts, and even drinks. Cocoa powder is used as a chocolate flavoring for baking, in cakes, muffins, and doughnuts, as syrup to be drizzled on a variety of foods and drinks, as an ice cream flavor, and in many more ways. The popularity of the chocolate flavor is a major factor driving the cocoa market and future opportunities.
- Supply Potential: There is a distinct gap between the increasing demand for cocoa products and the limited supply. However, most of the supply is produced by developing nations, and there is plenty of potential to optimize the farming methods to maximize the production of cocoa from the areas that do have a suitable climate.
The popularity of cocoa products may have waned slightly in recent years due to concerns over its healthiness, but with scientific proof backing its health benefits, the demand for cocoa products has risen considerably. The demand for cocoa and, correspondingly, future opportunities in the market are expected to continue their rapid rise in the future, depending on the optimization of supply capabilities.